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Differentiate or die : survival in our era of killer competition

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00000002516HF5415 .T727 2000 (General Book)Available - Ada

Publisher :John Wiley & Sons , 2000

There are no two ways about it with Jack Trout. Either you've got a product or service that you can say is different, or you don't have much at all. In today's global marketplace and at its lightning-fast rate of change, there's no point in inventing and presenting a product only to sit back and hope that consumers everywhere will discover its greatness. It's not simply about what you or your product can do, it's about what you do differently from everyone else. Coauthors Trout and Steve Rivkin say it all in their no-holds-barred title, Differentiate or Die.

A disciple of the marketing guru Rosser Reeves, who introduced the concept of the "unique selling proposition," Trout relays his vision of what can help you differentiate in blunt, tell-it-like-it-is prose. First he breaks the bad news that product quality, advertising creativity, price advantage, and breadth of product line are rarely successful ways to differentiate your business. Consumers expect the best quality, he says; they don't think it's a bonus. In the same vein, your competitor can slash prices just as quickly as you. After dismissing these common marketing techniques as futile, Trout concentrates on which differentiating ideas will set you apart from the pack: Being first (and staying there), owning a discernible attribute, having a heritage, becoming the preference of a particular consumer group, or even being the most recent arrival in a product arena are just some of these useful differentiates. Though the book's fast and quippy narrative style may leave some readers looking for more substance behind his adamant assertions, Trout's recommendations act as inspirational spurts of energy. A slim manual packed with punchy points, Differentiate or Die won't take you long to read but could make a lasting--you guessed it--difference to the success of your business. --S. Ketchum

Book Description

From marketing guru Jack Trout, a practical guide on the most important task for any business today?differentiating your products from the competition.

Now that product differences are rapidly and easily copied, or are perceived to be minimal, differentiating a company's products and services from the competition has become the key to corporate survival. Marketing guru Jack Trout points out that many companies often fail to see what are their most emotionally powerful and unique attributes, and management consequently fails to implement a consistent strategy to carry them throughout the company. Written simply and clearly, Differentiate or Die is filled with rich examples of successful differentiation strategies from across the globe.

Jack Trout is coauthor of the bestselling marketing classics Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind (over 500,000 copies sold) and Marketing Warfare

Illustrates core ideas of differentiation, including heritage, market leadership, and being first

Features examples from large and small companies, including Wells Fargo Bank, Merrill Lynch, and Kemper Investments

Jack Trout (Greenwich, CT) is President of Trout & Partners, one of the country's most prestigious marketing firms. Steve Rivkin (Glen Rock, NJ) is President of his own marketing and communications consultancy, Rivkin & Associates.

Book Info

Provides an in-depth exploration of today's most successful differentiation strategies. Explains what these strategies are, where and when they should be applied, and how they can help you carve out your own image in a crowded marketplace. DLC: Marketing.

From the Back Cover

"Any damn fool can put on a deal, but it takes genius, faith, and perseverance to create a brand."-David Ogilvy

In today's ultra-competitive world, the average supermarket has 40,000 brand items on its shelves. Car shoppers can wander through the showrooms of over twenty automobile makers. For marketers, differentiating products today is more challenging than at any time in history yet it remains at the heart of successful marketing. More importantly, it remains the key to a company's survival.

In Differentiate or Die, bestselling author Jack Trout doesn't beat around the bush. He takes marketers to task for taking the easy route too often, employing high-tech razzle-dazzle and sleight of hand when they should be working to discover and market their product's uniquely valuable qualities. He examines successful differentiation initiatives from giants like Dell Computer, Southwest Airlines, and Wal-Mart to smaller success stories like Streit's Matzoh and Connecticut's tiny Trinity College to determine why some marketers succeed at differentiating themselves while others struggle and fail.

More than just a collection of marketing success stories, however, Differentiate or Die is an in-depth exploration of today's most successful differentiation strategies. It explains what these strategies are, where and when they should be applied, and how they can help you carve out your own image in a crowded marketplace. Marketing executives in all types of organizations, regardless of size, can learn how to achieve product differentiation through strategies including:Revisiting the U.S.P.

Rosser Reeves's classic unique selling proposition approach, updated for today's marketplacePositioning

Understanding how the mind works in the differentiating processOwning an Idea

Techniques to seize a differentiating idea, dramatize it, and make it your ownCompetition

How to use differentiating ideas against your competitors in the marketplace

Consumers today are faced with an explosion of choices. In this environment, distinctive product attributes are quickly copied by competitors, perceived by consumers to be minimal, or both. Still, those who fail to differentiate their product or service in the mind of the consumer won't stand a chance.

Differentiate or Die outlines the many ways you can achieve differentiation. It also warns how difficult it is to achieve differentiation by being creative, cheap, customer oriented, or quality driven things that your competitors can do as well.

Praise for Differentiate or Die

"Another great book by the king of positioning!"-John Schnatter, CEO, Papa John's International

"Differentiate or Die differentiates itself on the groaning marketing bookshelf with its lucid prose, its clear vision of the future marketplace . . . and its sensible solutions for surviving the frenzied competition we're sure to find there."-Dan Rather, CBS News

"What I like about Differentiate or Die is the book's emphasis on the power of logic, simplicity, and clarity-getting to the essence of a problem. In Silicon Valley, attributes like that can make the difference between having lunch and being lunch."-Scott McNealy, CEO, Sun Microsystems, Inc.

"Trout and Rivkin marvelously illustrate that differentiation is the cornerstone of successful marketing." -Philip Kotler, S.C. Johnson Distinguished Professor of International Marketing,

Kellogg Graduate School of Management, Northwestern University

"We've built our business by being first-and executing best. Jack Trout and Steve Rivkin are doing the same, delivering the timely, powerful insights that will drive tomorrow's marketing strategies. A must read for anyone looking to win in an unforgiving competitive marketplace."-Mike Ruettgers, CEO, EMC Corporation

"Dotcom executives must learn the lessons of Differentiate or Die. If they don't, I pity their investors."-Aaron Cohen, CEO, Concrete Media; Co-Founder,

"Marketers are giving up too easily in trying to differentiate themselves from one another. Jack Trout effectively blows the whistle on them."-Rance Crain, President, Crain Communications Inc.

"Great ideas on how folks have differentiated products that you would never believe could be differentiated."-Kenneth D. Walker, President, Meineke Discount Muffler Shops

About the Author

JACK TROUT is President of Trout & Partners, one of the most prestigious marketing firms in the United States, with offices in 13 countries and a client list that includes AT&T, IBM, Merrill Lynch, Sears, and other Fortune 500 companies. Recognized as one of the influential gurus of marketing, Trout was the first to popularize the idea of "positioning" products and ideas in the minds of consumers. A sought-after speaker, he is the author of numerous marketing classics including the bestselling Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind, The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing, and 1998's The Power of Simplicity.

STEVE RIVKIN is coauthor of The New Positioning and The Power of Simplicity and head of his own communications consulting firm, whose clients include Kraft Foods, Olin Corp., and Horizon Health System. He is based in Glen Rock, New Jersey.

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Series Title
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HF5415 .T727 2000
Publisher Place New York
x, 230p.; 23cm.
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